UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Narratives of coping among international students during the COVID-19 pandemic deBruyn, Claire E.W.


Since 2019, the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread across the world and caused health, social, political and economic impacts. International students have been experiencing disproportionate and unique impacts due to COVID-19, but despite this, there is a lack of research examining how they were navigating, or coping with, these challenges (Browning et al., 2021; Koo, Yao, Gong, 2021; Maleku et al., 2021). This study sought to expand on the unique experiences international students had during the pandemic and explore their narratives of coping. The research design was based on narrative inquiry, within a social constructionist paradigm. The participants were six international students attending the University of British Columbia who were willing to discuss their challenges during the pandemic and how they navigated those challenges. Each participant completed an hour to hour and a half long interview, and a follow-up respondent verification interview. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Six major themes emerged through data analysis including; taking action, social connection, optimism and hope, acceptance, complications with coping, and growth. This study furthers research in this area and contributes to the knowledge base to better help counsellors and institutions understand and support these students.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International